Pacific Notes: Ulis, Suns, Lakers, Warriors

Suns guard Tyler Ulis underwent a surgical procedure on his right ankle, the Suns announced in a press release. The exact nature of Ulis’ injury remains unclear, but the team referred to the surgery as “minor” and said the rookie is expected to return to full basketball activity in about 12 weeks. That would put him on track to be ready to go in August, well before training camp gets underway.

Although Ulis’ overall numbers in his first NBA season were modest – 7.3 PPG and 3.7 APG in 61 contests – he thrived down the stretch with Eric Bledsoe on the bench. Ulis entered the Suns’ starting lineup on March 15, and averaged 16.1 PPG to go along with 8.5 assists in his final 15 games, showing that he deserves a role in the club’s rotation going forward.

Here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • The Suns head into next week’s draft lottery with a decent chance to land a top-two pick, and if they end up in a position to draft Lonzo Ball, they shouldn’t pass on the UCLA product due to the presence of his father LaVar, Dan Bickley writes in a column for The Arizona Republic. According to Bickley, Phoenix has interest in the younger Ball and views LaVar as a “minor red flag,” but not a deal-breaker.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical previews the Lakers‘ offseason, suggesting that the team should be a little more cautious with its cap room than it was a year ago.
  • The Warriors and their D-League head coach, Casey Hill, are parting ways, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). Hill, who won a title with the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2015, is seeking out an NBA assistant coach job, Wojnarowski adds.
  • The Warriors have agreed to a two-year lease extension to remain at Oracle Arena through the 2018/19 season, according to an Associated Press report (link via The franchise is expected to make the move from Oakland to a new arena across the bay for the 2019/20 season, but the new agreement with Oracle Arena includes options for three additional years, just in case that move to San Francisco gets delayed.
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